Finding great pitching is always always a chore during the fantasy season. If the pitchers on the waiver wire were sure things, they would have been added during your league’s offseason draft.
But this doesn’t mean finding a good pitcher is impossible. It just means you have to study the pitchers and make an informed decision about whether a certain pitcher is just hot or is a legit add and keeper.
Two players we will look at today are Eric Lauer of the Brewers and Matt Brash of the Mariners.
Who are Lauer and Brash?
Lauer was drafted twice, once out of high school by the Blue Jays in the 17th round of the 2013 draft and then with the 25th pick of the first round of the 2016 draft by San Diego.
Lauer had a great college career at Kent State, going 23-10 with a 1.86 ERA and a K/9 rate of 11.2 while walking only 2.5 batter per nine innings.
In the four minor league seasons, he was only 9-10, but he had a 2.85 ERA, 1.175 WHIP and still 10.2 K/9,
Brash was drafted in the fourth round out of Niagara University by the San Diego Padres. In college, Brash put up nice, but not great numbers.
He started 29 of the 38 games he appeared in over three years, going 12-7 with a 2.97 ERA. In 190.2 innings of work, he struck out 215 hitters, or 10.1 K/9, with a 3.1 BB/9 rate.
His walk rate increased in the minors, where in 25 career games he had a 4.2 BB/9 rate but with an outstanding 13.1 K/9 rate.
So, why are they still available?
Lauer was a pedestrian pitcher his first major league three seasons, posting ERAs of 4.34, 4.45 and 6.37. But last season the lefty rebounded with a 3.19 ERA.
Fantasy owners are coming around on Lauer, at least in Yahoo leagues where he rostered on 66% of teams. However, he is only rostered in 49% of ESPN leagues.
Meanwhile, Brash is owned in only 30% of Yahoo leagues and 17.8% of ESPN leagues. While he is ranked as a Top 100 by several publications, the fact he didn’t dominate hitters in college and the minors has left doubt about him by fantasy owners.
Is that doubt about Brash correct? Is Lauer really for real?
Let’s take a look.
Please, blog, may I have some more?